Discovering how to use Pinterest for authors is a crucial step in upping your book marketing game.
There’s a huge opportunity on the platform, and learning how to use Pinterest as an author is just the first step in taking advantage of it.
And you don’t have to be a social media marketer to start using it!
Here are 8 tips for learning how to use Pinterest as an author:
- Start with a Pinterest business account
- Optimize your profile for your author brand
- Include your profile essentials when using Pinterest for authors
- Understand boards vs. pins
- Don’t get overwhelmed
- Create your key author boards
- Tap into the power of pins
- Use essential Pinterest tools
What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is a hybrid between a social media network and visual search engine that allows users to share and discover content through images and video.
It’s a platform that curates images and video, linked to website content like blog articles, product pages, and galleries.
As an author, there is a way to pack a punch with Pinterest without getting frantic about boards, pins and images, and we’ll show you how.
Contrary to popular belief, Pinterest is not only for recipes and gorgeous interior design. In fact, it can be used for a variety of topics, subjects, or interests – books included.
Let’s get started with the tips that will help you learn how to use Pinterest for authors in your book marketing plan.
#1 – Start with a business account
You’re an author and you want to sell your books, so technically you’re a business!
Good thing Pinterest now offers business accounts, so you’ll want to make sure you create a business account – and not a personal one!
If you don’t have a Pinterest account already, create a Pinterest Business Account here.
When you get to the page, you’ll simply enter your email and password and click “Create Account” to get started.
If you already have a Pinterest account for your personal use and want to convert it to a business account, you’ll want to follow these instructions.
#2 – Optimize your profile to build your author brand
The second strategy to implement using Pinterest for authors, is to optimize your profile to reflect your author brand.
It’s a great opportunity to dramatically expand your reach and find readers who are waiting to share your world, get to know you and eventually, buy your book.
By using your profile to tell potential readers about yourself, you’re allowing people to find you, and your book.
Once your business account is set up, optimize your profile to reflect your author brand. This is what your potential readers and audience will see, so it’s very important that you fill this information out!
Include these details for your author profile on Pinterest:
- Profile Photo: This should be a professional headshot or image that reflects who you are as an author. You can even make it more personable and fun, but just make sure is a relevant, high quality image. If you don’t want to show your face, you can use a logo or your book. Please, no kittens or dragons even if you write pet books or fantasy (unless you are a dragon, in which case go ahead).
- Display Name: This is the name your audience will see. Make it your author name, or pen name. Keep it consistent to make it easier for readers to find you.
- Username: Be sure it includes your author name or pen name. It’s okay to have a slight variation in it, such as numbers at the end, if your author name is already taken by another user.
- Author Bio: This is where you can truly optimize your Pinterest profile for your author brand. Add a little about who you are and what you write, but keep it under 160 characters! You can even include some relevant keywords so that your account shows up when Pinterest users are searching for certain topics or subjects.
- Location: Don’t feel pressured to share your exact location if you don’t want to. If you live in a small town, you can use a nearby larger city as your location.
Make sure you spend some time filling out your Pinterest profile details. You want to make sure it reflects your author brand!
Here’s an example of my Pinterest author profile:
#3 – Pinterest for Authors Profile Essentials
You have the basics filled out in your profile settings, but your Pinterest page comes with a ton of opportunity to show potential readers more about you and the stories you write.
There are three important essentials to include in your Pinterest Author Profile:
#1 – Personality. This is about you, not just your books! People want to connect with you as a person, and Pinterest is a great medium to allow them to do that in a professional way.
#2 – Website. Make sure you add your author website, and that it is verified by Pinterest. It sounds technical, but it’s super easy to do, especially on WordPress sites.
#3 – Featured Board. Pick the board that you want to appear first. Typically, this would be your latest book. We’ll cover more about boards in the next section.
#4 – Understand Boards vs. Pins
It’s all about the boards you have… and the pins. If you’re a complete Pinterest newbie, you might be confused. Boards and pins? What are those?
Think of boards like a collection, or a category. Within that collection, there are pins, which are related to the category.
Still confused? Let’s use a literary device to help you visualize.
A Pinterest board is like an organized closet; within that closet, are related items (pins) that are stored there for easy retrieval.
For example, if you create a board for the setting of a story, you can add pins that have to do with your story’s setting, like location, time period, climate, and culture.
#5 – Don’t get overwhelmed
Don’t go crazy with the boards and pins. You want your Pinterest to look clean, with the main boards displayed, and relevant pins in each.
Since it’s a visual platform, you do want to be sure your Pinterest page looks clean and aesthetically appealing. Too much clutter, and it could give off a chaotic vibe!
But this is about Pinterest for authors, not designers – so don’t feel too pressured to compete with all the gorgeous images you find.
Recognise the need for white space, and use it!
The simple rule for images is to think vertically. The optimal image size for Pinterest is 600 x 900 pixels is the optimal size for Pinterest.
#6 – Create your key author boards
When learning how to use Pinterest as an author, there are some key boards that you’ll want to focus on.
These are the boards you need to have when using Pinterest for authors:
Board #1 – All your books and content
This is a board that contains all your own content, each of your books in its own section, and any blogs you write.
Create a pin with your book cover, link it direct to your Amazon sales page. Link your blog posts back to your blog post.
Ideas for quick images: For pins, take a good screenshot of your website, your Amazon page, or even your blog. You can use these to start with. Make a collage of your blog post pictures, your reviews, or testimonials.
Board #2 – Your latest book
This board is for your latest book, launched or not launched. You’ll want to use it as a spotlight for the book.
It should have the following sections:
- Images and Quotes from your book. Use your own high quality images, or from royalty free stock photo sites, such as this one.
- Reviews from your book. Include a screenshot, an image and a few sentences.
Link back to your sales page on Amazon, or to your Author Central page. You can also link back to your Goodreads page if you have one.
- Similar books that you have reviewed on your blog. This is an excellent opportunity to review other books like yours and build your author network.
- Theme board around your keyword. For example, my theme board is about hiking and the Himalayas. Pin yours and other people’s pins here.
Board #3 – Inspiration around your keyword or theme
This is where you pin mostly other people’s pins as well as some good ones of your own, about your keyword or inspiration. Check mine out on Hiking in the Himalayas.
You can even use it for inspiration that will help you stick to your writing goals. There are a lot of productivity pins that are helpful for writers to pin!
Tips for using your inspiration board:
- This is where you will use your keywords to the maximum, as this is how you will find new audiences who may be interested in your book.
- Research other authors in your field, and see what they’re doing, and also pin their pins to your board.
- Find new audiences. For example, I found that cooking is one of the top keywords in Pinterest, so I linked to and created pins on Himalayan dishes.
- Don’t forget to #hashtag.
Board #4 – Secret Boards (optional)
Keep your boards about your own non writing passions secret, so that you don’t dilute your brand. If you are a romance author, you don’t want to be advertising your love for mud-wrestling by tattooed hunks.
If you’re learning how to write a book, having a secret board comes in handy! You can use it to organize all your research for your books, or themes around your books.
For example, my next book is historical fiction, so I have all my research in a secret board, and I don’t want to confuse the readers of my non fiction adventure books.
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#7- Tap into the power of pins
Pins are usually what users will see in their own feed or search results on Pinterest, so it’s important that your pins are optimized for full potential.
For example, if we type “writing tips” into the Pinterest search bar, these are the pins that appear:
You can save other people’s pins by hovering your mouse over the pin, and clicking “Save.” You will also have the option to select which of your boards you are saving it to.
You’ll want to do a healthy mix of saving other pins, and creating your own pins. The more active you are with pinning, the more your own pins will appear in the search results when people search for keywords related to yours.
Add your own pins that others will love to share; this will broaden your reach, and get people saving and clicking your own content.
#8 – Use essential Pinterest tools
Yes, I know, I can read your mind – you want to get back to writing your next bestseller and all this Pinterest for authors talk is tiring you out. But wait, there’s more!
There are a lot of helpful tools you can use to make your pinning life easier.
The tools range from creating stunning graphics, to scheduling so that your pins appear consistently.
These are our favorite Pinterest for authors tools and resources:
- Canva: It’s free to start with, and includes pretty templates for Pinterest. Pick one style of template and run with that for some time. It’s important that your pins are consistently glorious. If you decide to upgrade, you can save time by resizing your other social media images to Pinterest size, and tweaking the image to fit.
- Tailwind. The free version allows you schedule your posts, import images and even link to Instagram. Spend half a day working on your pins and post them all in a single afternoon and Tailwind will spit them out on the required day. Note: Pinterest also allows you to schedule posts when you are posting your pins directly.
- Piktochart. It allows you to easily create great infographics.
- Pinterest’s own widgets. Be sure to install these on your website so that you can integrate your website with Pinterest. To start with I recommend the Pin it Button.
- Fiverr has lots of gigs for this, and as this is fairly low skilled you can try one of them.
So there you have it! Those are just eight important tips when using Pinterest for authors.
While this all might sound like a ton of work and effort, it will be worth it in the long run.
If you commit to using Pinterest effectively and consistently, you’ll start to notice your profile and pins gaining traction in a few months.
Pinterest is a truly powerful platform, and when used right, it can be beneficial for strengthening your author brand, building a larger audience, and learning from others.